The neuroinvasiveness, neurotropism, and neurovirulence of SARS-CoV-2

Lisa Bauer, Brigitta M. Laksono, Femke M.S. de Vrij, Steven A. Kushner, Oliver Harschnitz, Debby van Riel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

103 Citations (Scopus)


Severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is associated with a diverse spectrum of neurological complications during the acute and postacute stages. The pathogenesis of these complications is complex and dependent on many factors. For accurate and consistent interpretation of experimental data in this fast-growing field of research, it is essential to use terminology consistently. In this article, we outline the distinctions between neuroinvasiveness, neurotropism, and neurovirulence. Additionally, we discuss current knowledge of these distinct features underlying the pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2-associated neurological complications. Lastly, we briefly discuss the advantages and limitations of different experimental models, and how these approaches can further be leveraged to advance the field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)358-368
Number of pages11
JournalTrends in Neurosciences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2022

Bibliographical note

We apologize to our colleagues whose work we could not cite due to space limitations. D.V.R. is supported by fellowships
from The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (VIDI contract 91718308) and a EUR fellowship. O.H. is supported
by fellowships from the Warren Alpert Foundation, the Encephalitis Society, and a NARSAD Young Investigator Grant from
the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation. This work was also supported by the Netherlands Organ-on-Chip Initiative, an
NWO Gravitation project (024.003.001) funded by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science of the Government of
The Netherlands (to S.A.K. and F.M.S.D.V.), a Dutch ZonMw More-Knowledge-with-Fewer-Animals (MKMD) Create2Solve
grant (114025201; to S.A.K. and F.M.S.D.V.), and by an Erasmus MC Human Disease Model Award to F.M.S.D.V.

Publisher Copyright: © 2022 Elsevier Ltd


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